Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the brilliant show of leaves that Mother Nature gives us. I can’t think of anything more wonderful than to walk through the fallen leaves while gentle breezes of brisk air rustle what’s left on the branches above.
I have many memories of fall. One of my very favorite memories is learning to quilt. It was in the fall that I took my first quilting class, so this season just reminds me of quilts. I adore collecting them and making them!
Our quilting editor, Beth Hayes, is a master quilter. She was the success behind McCall’s Quilting. One day, she decided she would teach a class at our office during our lunch “hour” (that lasted three hours, but who’s counting?).
Many signed up for the class, and we had a great turnout. We brought our sewing machines to the conference room and had a glorious time. That was many, many years ago. But I was totally hooked! In fact, I could not concentrate on my regular work thinking about the quilt squares we would make.
My collection of fabric grew and grew, and now, I have a thousand quilts planned in my mind! But the reality is that I’ve had the quilting bug since I was a child. Both of my grandmothers quilted, and they used any type of fabric they could find—scraps left from garments, sewing projects, and remnants they would get from friends.
My Grandmother Norton would hold back a bag of cotton from the fall harvest for her quilts. She would comb her own cotton for the batts (the fluffy inside part of the quilt). That explains why her quilts were so heavy! My mom did not piece quilts, but she embroidered quilt tops for my sister and me. That was a task that took months to complete. She is a master embroiderer, and her quilt tops are amazing!
I have taught several quilting classes in years past, and I just love it when people fall in love with quilting. The fall reminds me of snuggling under a quilt by the fire and enjoying that wonderful experience.
The quilts made by my mom and grandmothers are my treasures. Do you quilt or collect quilts?
Read the story of a quilter whose passion began with lessons from her mother in The Cottage Journal’s Country Cottage special issue, out on newsstands now!
I have the quilt my father’s mother made for their wedding present in 1940. After my father’s death when we broke up the household, I brought it home with me, only to discover that it blended perfectly either the bedspread I had chosen several years before. Now each time I make the bed, I connect with my sweet grandma who died when I was 9. That was over 60 years ago, but I feel her love each time I touch it. I look forward to the day when I see her again in heaven.
I have never quilted, but love them. I am retired now and after reading all the comments,
I’m going to make a point of giving it a try. Love your blog!!
I am a lover of quilts, especially heirloom baby quilts. I also love antique redwork and embroidered quilts. I especially love baby quilts which incorporate scripture and family history in them.
Phyllis we love everything you do!!! Woman extraordinaire! I love your Journal as well as all of your publications!!!
I have a small collection of antique quilts; we actually sleep under them. With machine embroidery, we can recreate the redwork embroidery quilts very easily. Here’s to the joy of quilting ! Sewing! Embroidery! Life treasures–all of these skills.
May God Bless You Over and Over,
My love of Quilting began when I took a class from Phyllis, about 5 years ago. She was the most inspiring teacher and the best side benefit is that we have become friends! Quilting is one of those hobbies that opens a whole new exciting world, you know the kind where you can’t sleep, because you’re dreaming of the color schemes and patterns you want to create on the next quilt. I would highly encourage anyone who has never tried it, to try it and you will see what I mean. Warning……You won’t be able to stop!
Phyllis…..I could see a Quilting book by you..”Phyllis DePiano’s Encyclopedia of Quilting”..The History, How to’s, pics of antique quilts to present quilts, pattern/s for sampler quilts designed by you!….Now, that would be quite a treasure!!
Thank you…….we should do a magazine!! I cant get enough Quilting. I just love it. You are an amazing quilter today and your quilts are dynamic. Thank you Carole.
I am former marketing executive now stay at home mother of three from Brisbane, Australia.
I hold Phyllis in the highest regard.
She has managed to become an incredibly successful businesswoman without forsaking her children or the traditional values and abilities that once came with being a woman.
She is the model my generation and younger should be following but, by and large, are sadly not.
Thank you Lane. I wish all young ladies had an interest in needlework and quilting. It is timeless. Thank you for your lovely comments.
Grandmother made beautiful quilts. Her quilt frame was attached to the ceiling by a rope and pully system which she used to raise and lower the quilt when she wanted to work on it. I can remember being just tall enough to barely stich on the edge when she first allowed me to “quilt.”
Quitters are true artists. Recently we saw some absolutely beautiful seasonal themed quilts in the lab where my friend takes her chemotherapy. Their bright beautiful fall colors are uplifting to both staff and patients.
My grandmothers had the quilt frames that hung on hooks from the ceiling. I had forgotten that until you mentioned it. Decorating with quilts is a great idea!!!
I have made several quilts over the years especially when I go visit my sister in Michigan. Unable to do it at the present time. Living with my daughter since my husband passed away five years ago. Most of my things are in storage now but am looking forward to the day I can unpack all of it and start sewing again.
I hope that day comes soon for you. It restores the soul to create something. Thank you for sharing with us.
I don’t have the gift of quilting, needlepoint is my love. However, my mother-in-law made us quite a few quilts and even inherited two from my husband’s grandmother. She made these and were to be given to his wife when we married. So I treasure all of these. We have been married 45 years and still love them as much.
Thank you for sharing that. You are right—those made by others and given to us are priceless!
I have been quilting for 41 years and still very passionate about it. I began when we were living in Louisiana and would visit antique stores where I was mesmerized with old quilts. Having an extensive needlework background, I knew I could teach myself. This was in 1976 and I only found one book on quilting at the bookstore. I made some mistakes, but to this day, I still learn something new all the time. My favorite type of quilts are antique and these are the ones I try to reproduce with some changes to make it mine. I hope one of my granddaughters will develop my love of quilting–I’m sure going to try!
Susan the old patterns are fabulous. I am so happy that you are a quilter!
These quilts are all beautiful. Sadly, I never learned how to quilt but I have friends who did and they have presented me with wonderful quilts over the years, especially to mark special occasions. I also love all the Jennifer Chiaverini quilting books. Quilts are not just a craft, but an art form, each one unique with a special story to tell.
You are right!! Quilts are a work of art.
I sew every day,paper piecing, machine piecing, working with wool applique, all of it provides a great creative outlet.
How lucky you are to have the time!!!! I grab time to quilt and sew when I can. I put the quilting on hold until my granddaughter wanted to make one with me. We made a doll carriage quilt.
My 100% German paternal grandmother, 1st generation American, born in 1876 was a quilter. She made a quilt for each of her grandchildren. I think she made mine in 1957, it is red, white and blue. The design is Path thru the woods. She died in 1959 before my two youngest sisters were born. However she had pieced several tops that my aunt still had. My mother had two of those made into finished quilts for them. I was 16 when she died and I remember watching her quilt. Her fingers were gnarled from arthritis but she still plied that needle adroitly. Needless to say, that quilt is for show only!
I was always amazed at the tiny stitches my grandmothers could sew by hand. What a talent! You have treasures!!!!
I love quilts and still have my baby one. My late maternal Grandmother made many quilts and sold them to support her family when she became a widow.
That is a true cottage industry. There are women today who quilt for others to support their families. It is a labor of love.
When I was a little girl an elderly neighbor made me a doll yoyo quilt. I now have it in a doll cradle.
Yo- yos intrigue me. What a treasure you have.
When my twin sister and I were born, my late maternal Grandmother made quilts for each of our cribs. We still have them and cherish them.
Crib quilts are a lovely size. There is nothing more beautiful than a baby snuggled in a quilt.
I enjoy quilting also. I took my first quilting class while on my maternity leave over 23 years ago. I like to machine piece and hand quilt while listening to TV or music…something about rocking the needle! I live here in Birmingham, AL and I miss having a quilt shop nearby. The 2 that were once in the area had beautiful, quality fabrics. It has been a while since I have made a quilt but I have a collection of beautiful fabrics that are intended for that one day! Thanks for your inspiring story!
Tammy I am in Birmingham too and I remember those delightful shops. I always visit quilt shops when I travel!!!
Loved the quilting classes we had back then! Learned so much from Beth. I love the quilts I have that my Grandma made for us. One day I’ll get back to quilting.
Beth made everything seems so easy. I loved it too.